tv [untitled] June 11, 2013 12:00am-12:31am PDT
10th annual public defenders summit. i'm so excited to be here today. our office has been putting on this summit for the past 10 years. we draw together attorneys, community leaders, non-profit leaders and directors and people committed to improving the criminal justice system. we come together once a year to talk about the issues and problems that we want to solve. this year is a particularly special summit because yesterday marked the 50th an niversary of the supreme court decision. one of
the most significant dimensions our country. on march 16, 1963, the court said you have a right to a lawyer. even though it had been part of the constitution as the #6th amendment for years and years it was not recognized it was a right until they said it was an obligation by the state to provide a lawyer. it never would have happened unless gideon, a drifter who had been involved convicted for robbing a pool hall. at that time unless you were charged with a capital offense, you
would not be given a lawyer. you had to represent yourself. the gideon decision changed that for felony cases and that brought other cases. but this is still a basic right that we are fighting for each and every day there was a new york times article yesterday, it's called the right to council. badly battered add at 50. in miami they handle more than 550,000 cases a year. all of city and county systems that pretty much rely on local funding to provide public defenders. in
kentucky, 68 percent of poor people accused of misdemeanor short up for a court appearance without a lawyer. in 28 counties in florida 77 percent people pled guilty. many after arrest can spend months in jail. this is becoming more and more evident as prosecutors raise the stakes. we have seen more crimes increase in terms of severity. as a result of this more cases are settling through plea bargains but not necessarily because they are guilty but they have no choice. they are often handled by
poorly paid inexperienced lawyers. very rarely are new trials granted. even here in san francisco we have struggled to fill three investigators positions for the last six months and we have hundreds of cases that need the attention of an investigator. so today we are going to study the aftermath of gideon and discuss what has to happen in order to fix it. i want to thank everyone who has made today so possible, all of you for being here. i want to thank or sponsors, kicker and van ness and jim and douglas and maratel and investigations. i would like to thank all the volunteers who made this possible. kathy, angela and everyone else who helped out
today. i want to express my gratitude to the san francisco library for the last ten years and there is san francisco government tv and this is going to be broadcast throughout the year. so thank you. i would like to thank julie tron from the bar association. the bar association has been our partners in terms of providing defense for poor people. in cases where the public defender is not able to provide representation, those cases are handled by the private bar and they are doing an incredible job. so thank you very much for that. i want to thank jose as a who is a public defender and here to celebrate with us. we are going to start today by showing a brief video
explaining the gideon decisions >> take this empty lot. today you would never know it but history was made here. mostly all is gone and so are the people. the principle they left is still standing. it was almost as bad at life. >> it was a constitutional hero, but the cases that come to the court don't come from the winners in society. they come from the losers. clarence gideon was involved in the justice system since he was a kid. he had been getting in
trouble. >> trouble seemed to find gideon. literally small change had gone miss ing from this cigarette machine, maybe $5 total. that's the pool hall there on the bottom. some wine, some beer and a few bottles of coca-cola were gone. the witnesses saw gideon that night with pockets full of change. gideon found himself facing serious time in prison. >> i have no council >> why do you not have council? >> i would like someone to represent me. >> i would have to deny you request to a point you council
in this case. >> gideon,000 this was unfair. >> by asking the court to appoint a lawyer, gideon thought he had the right to counsel. >> this right is a basic right to in in in the constitution because the threat that is presented by imprisonment and even execution is a threat that the government should allow to have. >> gideon had to represent himself because the state of florida denied a lawyer. the entire trial lasted a day before he was found guilty and sentenced to the maximum to 5 years. >> the last days end here walking into prison and doing his time. but this time he went
to prison convinced he didn't belong there and the state of florida didn't give him a fair trial. he did what most people would do with insanitiary and fairy tales. he wrote to the supreme court of the united states. >> the supreme court they have cases brought to the court by people who are too poor who are able to pay for their fees. gideon's was a hand written document online prison stationery. you couldn't imagine a simpler more elementary way to get to the highest court in the land. >> why would the supreme court decide to hear the case of a poor man already in prison. because the constitution allows even a poor man to be heard.
lightning strikes from the ground up. it may have been sparked by gideon but they were on the court's justice ready to catch it. >> he was the most influential person in the courtroom system of all time. people should not be disadvantaged in getting justice because they are poor. the judge was viable for the constitution. it had the best constitution in the world and if we were tolerant it would be all right. on the morning of march 18th, the decision was announced from the supreme court. they said justice black said i have an announcement the decision and opinion of the court gideon against -- vindication for 20 years of dissent from -- against brady. they said we were wrong when we designed it and now we are making it right.
>> it was complete. not only did this belief in the 14th amendment, the court decide d in gideon's favor. this system which he fought for so long in the justice. the decision was law of the land. equal justice under law. >> when a supreme court decided the gideon case, they really brought light to that phrase. it doesn't matter if you are rich, it doesn't matter if you are poor, you get the same equal chance. >> just look at what happened to gideon. the supreme court didn't set gideon free but it gave him a fair trial with a competent attorney. >> not guilty.
>> clarence earl gideon was a free man. the man who won a landmark supreme court case went to live a normal living with a job pumping gas. >> when i read where it says equal justice under law, i'm very inspired by that. i'm very comforted by that. but i know a lot of people are treated unfairly. i see it as something encouraging but i don't see it yet. >> it's written into constitution and established into the goal for society to reach for and live up to. people will fall short, rights
can be ignored or even trampled. with nothing more than a pencil and knowledge. >> if you know your rights you can protect your rights. if you don't know your rights you can't. they will always be there. you can fight for them. that was gideon's story. he knew he had a right that was taken way from him and he fought to get it back. >> if you are wondering how it is they had a televised proceeding of the gideon trial they reenacted it on television and they had gideon and the judges play themselves. now i would like to you meet chris
kearney, he's of the bar association of san francisco and a litigation partner which represents lawyers and accountants. he also represented a friend of mine. i will always be grateful for your work. our justice summit has been made possible by the bar association in san francisco. please join me in welcoming chris to the stage. >> thank you, jeff and great to see so many people here today. as jeff said i'm a partner at van ness and happy to the the president of the bar association this year. it's great to be here on this particular day with a great group of panelist talking about a very important subject. we
are also proud at the bar association to partner with jeff's office to represent indigent clients and very proud of that relationship and committed to it going forward. this summit focused on the an verseey e anniversary of the gideon case. a promise and excitement following the united states supreme court decision has been a road trip marked by stoplight and heavy traffic. it was gideon's mutual trumpet, the new book that talks about the harsh reality of the system where public defenders have to
handle thousands of cases in a course of a year. that's a tough reality whether it's 500 or a thousand cases. something that jim had an eye to handle more business litigation could not imagine handling and handling well. that's why this anniversary and events like this are so important. they remind us why court funding and why funding of public defenders is so critical and invite vital. these days there is too much worry about funding the judicial system and not enough worry about the cost for equal justice. this is the 50th anniversary of gideon, more articles are written, more gatherings like this and more
than any that i can remember. maybe in california armed with a great public defender and with a like minded d.a., maybe we can begin to make the societal changes in a dent in a nation's shameful conference. last fall we did make some progress even at the ballot box which has been very difficult during this generation but prop 36 passed in the deeply embedded 3 strikes law. i also want to point out to this group even though the focus today is on public defenders in the criminal system, in san francisco we try to go even further than that. last year
they were making san francisco the rights to civil council city, the city of gideon. there are civil cases, eviction cases, family law cases where the consequences, the results followed in court are almost as severe to what gideon faced and what people face in criminal cases. what we recognize at the outset of the supervisors proclamation is part inspirational, our leaders in the community have rallied around it and the bar association and our firms have taken on more conviction cases. later we'll be holding an event to thank people in these positions and so please stay tuned about that. in the meantime let's focus on gideon and the public defenders role.
i would say if there is ever a time and place to turn the tied and to bring the &m music back to gideon's trumpet. we thank you and look forward to a great day. thank you. [ applause ] >> about a year-and-a-half go we saw one of the most dramatic shifts when the state took funding and reallocated to local and housing for state prisoners. our next speaker chief probation officers not only in san francisco but statewide. she's here to give us an update on what's happening. >> thank you, public defender
inviting probation for being part of this summit. i apologize for my voice. i recently made it back with china, unfortunately my voice has not made it back yet. i'm very proud that our partnership in san francisco that we realize in transforming san francisco criminal justice system in one that uses science base, human approaches to help people change their lives which reduces recidivism and breaking the inter generational to
return. we hope to transform the criminal justice system on a national basis and what we are learning is san francisco is going to help many other states in its jurisdiction to find other ways to serve justice and at the same time change lives and reduce recidivism. our counties realignment effort which means that if we have individual treatment plans, we look at the individual and create a case plan based upon his or her needs and not taking a one side approach as we know about the terrible result of the state prison system. the recidivism rate was 78 percent. i'm really happy to report that we have proven that the sky has not
fallen since realignment. we have major results and i will share those stats with you. we have certain sanctions which included incarceration but also rewards for positive behavior and there is leaders in san francisco was in terms of a legal approach was -- ensuring that due process rights were under law these flashing incarceration. what it means we provided the court and public defenders and district attorney's and rpgs recommendation was not based on a punishment model but a behavior change model. the county created a stellar
partnership in the district attorneys office to create a new plan and expanded also some of the social services that they were able to provide and partnered with the criminal justice team with the court and with probation to take a different approach. we also as part of our approach took over a third of the dollars that the county got and invested the money, talk about return on investment, $4 million into services. if people are going to change their lives, they need to have services that will help them change their lives. that is an important priority. other services have been public mental health, health and human services, housing and employment and economic development and we also have
went into prisons, probation and started a reentry planning. we are talking about the results which has proved if you change your approach then you can improve the results and in san francisco, three years about before realignment and evidence base probation and sentencing we had over 7,000 individuals on probation, as a result we now currently have 5500 individuals under supervision and that includes all of this population that has been realigned in the state. instead of a 78 percent failure rate which is what parole has, probation has a 77 percent success rate, again changing the focus. the number of felony probationers who were revoked
and sent to state prison, 3 years ago was 75 percent in 2009, and in 2012 we sent 65 individuals. of the 1310 felony probationers, 77 percent completed successfully and of the newly aligned positions, those are the ones that basically had had 78 percent failure rate. 65 percent have been in total compliance. no new law violations and 55 percent have had no arrest or sanctions or flashing incarceration. and they are reporting to probation for services. we have a wide array
of community services for individuals that need assistance. but i think really what san francisco has done was continue to be a leader with the outstanding public defender and district attorneys office and the public probation and we can achieve justice and success and at the same time change lives. so i'm very thankful to be part of the criminal justice partnership in san francisco. it's an honor and we are not only leading the way in california but we are leading the way in the nation to change it's approach to serving justice. so thank you for an allowing me to speak. [ applause ] >> next it's a great honor to present supervisor cohen to present a proclamation to us. >> supervisor cohen represents
the district 10. which includes bay view hunters point and hill. >> hey, everyone! good morning. how are my justice fighters doing out there? today is invigorating and enlighten you to make sure we have social justice everywhere. i represent bay view and porter hill. so today i really want to share with you in the celebration and recognition of the 50th anniversary, i'm going to ask you to come up here, jeff. look
at him. this is amazing, everyone. but today is march 18, 2013. today marks the 50th anniversary united states court's decision that someone should be defended at no cost. where journalist and concerned citizens will gather at the san francisco public defenders 2013 justice summit on march 19 to discuss ways to better fulfill gideon's promise justice for all where clarence combid gideon convicted to be stealing change at a pool hall. he wrote a petition to the supreme court from his jail cell arguing that his rights had been violated. he presented a victory for
civil rights and justice. san francisco one of the first cities in the united states to establish a public defenders office opened it's doors in 1921. whereas gideon's promise lives on in the san francisco public defenders office which service 25,000 indigent people every year. whereas city of the san francisco joined with the public defenders and the legal aid lawyers to celebrate the right to counsel. therefore be it resolved the san francisco -- march 18th as gideon versus wayne right day as acknowledgment for the 50 years of the united states landmark decision as well as the work of the public defenders who continue to fulfill the rights.
[ applause ] >> thank you very much. i would like to thank the board of supervisors and the mayor's office as well. i would like to share with the public defenders. ken is here and as well as dave from the public defenders office. [ applause ] >> i'm sorry. ron from the santa clara's office. key note speaker. this came out yesterday on the anniversary. she's a contributing editor and writer at the washington magazine. her work has appeared in the nation, news day, ne